Vista - I like it
I have no problem with Vista. I really think a lot of people haven't given Vista a proper chance and are putting it down because they have joined the anti-vista bandwagon.
I have Vista running on a two year old Core Duo 2.0Ghz laptop (not even Core 2 Duo), with 2GB RAM, an ATI X1600 video card, and a 5400rpm SATA Hard drive.
I did a clean install of Vista Home Premium over my previous XP SP2 build. Vista installed without a hitch, connected to the internet and downloaded all the device drivers required except for a modem driver, which I got from the manufacturers website.
Windows Update then installed all the latest updates, which installed without causing any problems.
I've installed all my usual applications, about 20 in all, the main ones which are Paint Shop Pro X2, Photoshop elements 6, utorrent, Office 2003, Ulead Videostudio 11, Ashampoo Burning Studio 7, ACDSee 10, amongst others. All these apps installed without a single problem, and work flawlessly.
OK, there are a few minor niggles - copy/move operations are slower than XP, I have to endure about a minutes worth of sluggishness when booting up for the prefetch/page file stuff to fill up, and yes I do notice it's not quite as snappy and responsive as XP. Without a doubt, 2GB of RAM is the sweetspot, and more would be better. However, to be honest I was running Vista with 1GB and it was perfectly fine. I didnt notice a huge increase in performance with 2GB, but it was so cheap to buy I couldnt resist.
For me at least, the good of Vista outweighs all the above bad. The eye-candy-licious Aero desktop, the built in search/indexing, Media Center, the new links pane in Explorer windows, the search box in the start menu, extra security (I've reduced UAC prompts with the Tweak-UAC utility), the sidebar and it's useful gadgets, the new My Photo's screensaver (which plays video too - neat), and many many other features which I can't think of right this minute, but would miss if I went back to XP.
I'm not some dumbass newbie/idiot user - I've used Windows since 3.0, and I work in the IT Desktop & Server Support dept of a large company, so I really do know more about Windows XP, Linux, and now Vista than the vast majority of general PC users.
I wouldnt go back to XP, despite the niggles with Vista, and given a year or so, when all computers come with 4GB of RAM as standard, and faster CPU's, and Vista SP1 and other forthcoming updates have ironed out the current problems, I'm sure a lot of those Vista haters out there will have converted too.